IntercontinentalExchange Group (ICE) is to float its European stock exchange operator Euronext as an independent company, selling all or part of the existing shares.
There will be an initial public offering of shares in the places where Euronext operates financial markets – Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels first, with Lisbon to follow.
Before that about a third of the exchange will be sold to a group of European financial institutions. Those shares will be bought at a limited discount to the price of the IPO.
The investor group is made up of Banco Espirito Santo, BNP Paribas, BNP Paribas Fortis, Societe Generale, Caisse des Depots, ABN Amro, Belgian government investment vehicle SFPI, Bpifrance, Euroclear, ASR Nederland and BPI Vida e Pensoes.
Two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters the sale could achieve a valuation of at least 1.5 billion euros ($2.1 billion).
Euronext merged with the New York Stock Exchange in 2006, and the joint company was bought by ICE last year. A spin-off of Euronext has been expected since then.